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Over US$300k for Lofa by-election

The National Elections Commission or NEC has announced that the amount of US$391,000 was needed for the conduct of a successful by-election in Vaihun District, Lofa County.

The availability of the money on time was a key factor of success. Commissioner Jonathan Weedor, who’s overseeing the by–election, told in this paper in an interview at his 9th Street office in Sinkor Tuesday, October 27, 2015, that the amount was expected to be generated by the government because donor partners do not really support by-elections.

“If you notice the budget, it appears little much because of the road network. The road is very terrible; getting our logistics and staff there, we may possibly pass through Sierra Leone to get to Vaihun. So we need adequate funding to avoid hitches in the long run,” he said, noting that the NEC has already submitted the budget to the authorities of the Ministry Finance and Development Planning for the funds on time so as to have a smooth conduct of the process in Lofa.

According to him, the nation’s electoral house has requested the authorities of the Liberian National Police to submit its budget for attached security for onward submission. He noted that voters’ education was ongoing, while prospective candidates will be seriously warned against campaign violence as violators would be punished in accordance with the commission’s guidelines and Constitution of Liberia.

The NEC Commissioner added that despite the delay in making the funds available, he’s of the conviction that the election will be successful. The commission political campaign starts from November 20 to December 27 2015, while the nomination of candidates was already in progress.

He pointed out that about 31,273 qualified electorates were expected to cast ballots for the candidates they support during also expected to be held December 29, 2015. The election in Lofa is a result of the death of a member of the House of Representatives – Fofi Sahr, Baimba, of District #2.

He was pronounced dead on Sunday, September 13, at the John F. Kennedy Medical Center in Monrovia. Family and health sources said Representative Baimba died of hypotension (high blood pressure) following a brief illness. The former lawmaker directly represented the people of Vaihun and Foya Districts.

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By E. J. Nathaniel Daygbor

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